Liz Corke Knit Design

Show cart
February 8, 2018

I’m so happy to be showing you these mitts at last! They were so much fun to knit. I thought today I’d give you a quick rundown on the design process and how this pattern came to be.

IMG_3960smallIt always starts with a sketch in my book. I’m not sure what the inspiration was, but I sketched out the outline of the mitts and scribbled down some details about the pattern. You can see that originally the idea was for the cable to move from the outside of the hand towards the thumb, but when I got a little further through the process I switched it so it travels to the little finger. I picked up the most amazing yarn for this pattern – Eden Cottage Yarns Hayton 4ply – super soft thanks to the merino and luxurious cashmere with a little nylon for toughness – perfect for these hard working mitts.

IMG_3934bThe next stage was choosing the cable and that took ages! I had a couple of swatches with many different options on each, but eventually I made a choice. This is the point where the gauge swatch and the pattern writing begins! Luckily for me, my gauge came out the same as for Nicnevin so I got a shortcut on the maths and could jump straight into the charting. I always chart out my pattern on the computer before I start knitting – then I can save it as a pdf and have it handy on my phone at all times.

IMG_instaThis is where the real fun begins – the knitting! I have to fit in knitting whenever I can in the quiet parts of the day – mostly if we’re having cuddle time on the sofa and once my kids are in bed. At one point I planned to make this into fingerless gloves instead of mitts, but having done the left hand I wasn’t satisfied with the finger placement, so with the right hand I just separated the pinky to help hold the glove in place on that side. You can skip this step if you like! Having ripped out the fingers on the left hand, I procrastinated for a week or two on redoing the cuff!

IMG_3940smallAfter knitting the right hand, it was pattern writing time! First I had to grade the gloves into a larger size and decide how I was going to present the charts. I like to keep my charts to as few pages as possible, so it was a little bit of a challenge to fit each hand onto just one page. Stitchmastery takes the charts I’ve made and gives me written patterns, which is a nice shortcut, however the written instructions it gives me are nowhere near publishable! I have to go through and consolidate things like: (K tbl, p) x 8, (k tbl, p) 4 times, (k tbl, p) x 4, into (K1 tbl, p1) 16 times and then put in the repeats for the large size. With each glove having more than 70 rounds, it took me about a week to get this stage ready to be tech edited!

IMG_3905smallTech editing is always a little nerve wracking – you send off your new baby and hope it doesn’t come back with too many red marks! I always send off my pattern in the best state I can get it to, but there was no chance of getting this one back error free! After I make the fixes from the first round of tech editing, I get testers for the pattern. This is always super fun! I love to see my patterns being knit by other people. My testers were really helpful – picking up a few errors that had slipped through the net, and suggesting other little improvements. One notable change was that a tester couldn’t find a video for the cast-on I’d specified, so I went through my cast-ons book, found another name for the same cast-on and then I found loads of videos for the Estonian Cast-On. During the testing process I usually find time and good weather for a photoshoot.

IMG_3899smallOnce testing is done and I stop getting suggestions from my testers, I make sure all the errors are fixed, incorporate the suggestions I like and send the pattern back to Jo for a final review. Finally it’s time for setting up my Ravelry and LoveKnitting pages, drafting my newsletter and blog, and getting all my social media announcements ready. My husband sets up the page on my website, and once our kids are in bed I can finally hit publish, and send everything out!

You can find it now:

There’s 20% off on my website and Ravelry until the 12th February at midnight UK time – no code needed! Want to see what I’m working on now? Check out my instagram account for sneak peeks! Or sign up to my newsletter to hear about my new releases (and get an exclusive discount!) just enter you email address on the right!

September 5, 2017

blog1Do you have a problem with too many WIP? Nicnevin was the Goddess of witches and in Fife it was believed she would steal unfinished knitting projects on New Years Eve – so get these done in plenty of time! This is the third pattern in my trio of Celtic Goddess fingerless mitts. Like Beira and Brighde, this has an asymmetrical cable on the back of the hand, matched by a smaller cable than starts under the thumb, splits to move up either side of the thumb gusset, and rejoins at the top. The super stretchy twisted rib means the glove will fit most people!

Blog2We did the photoshoot for Nicnevin on Saturday and had a lot of fun. It was a great return to this part of the design process! My co-model wasn’t always co-operative but she did have a lot of fun shouting “run, run!” as she sprinted off, and she’s so adorable it’s easy to forgive her! We had so many great shots I’ve had a hard time choosing which ones to use which is the best sort of problem to have!

 

This series has taken me a lot longer to finish blog3than I ever intended but I’m so happy to be publishing the third pattern at long last! It’s definitely one of my favourites! I am currently contemplating releasing the three patterns as an e-book, with an extra (optional) step on making them into fingerless gloves instead of mitts. If it’s something you’d be interested in, let me know – I’d love an excuse to knit them again! You can find Nicnevin here, on my website, on Ravelry and on Loveknitting.

January 1, 2015

BrighdeA little later than planned, what with colds, flu and baby bronchiolitis, Christmas and visiting family, here is my latest pattern! Brighde is the Goddess of Spring and Summer – legend has it the Beira locks her up during the winter, and when she’s free we have spring and summer again! These gloves have been so long in the making – the left hand glove was knit last year while I was pregnant, and the photo shoot was done with my (at the time) five month old baby boy. Now he’s nearly seven months old and this is around the time that I knit the first glove last year! I’m lucky my gauge hadn’t changed.

 

IMG_1024I really love these gloves. I knew when I was reading the legends behind Beira that I would have to make a complimentary pattern for Brighde – in green for the spring. The main cable on these gloves is mirrored on each hand – something that I only remembered 20 rounds into the cable on the second glove, so I had pull my cable out and start over – oops!

IMG_0987The photoshoot for the gloves was a lot of fun. We went to the forest near our home where I grew up, and it was my baby’s first walk there. We had a a great time showing him trees and leaves, and he made sure the whole thing didn’t take too long by complaining whenever he felt we’d been in one place long enough. The hardest part was trying to choose the photos for the pattern pages – He’s so cute that I had a hard time limiting the photos with him in!

If you buy Brighde before 11.59pm on the 5th January, you’ll get an automatic 25% off the price on Ravelry/my website. On Loveknitting (see below) the price is lower to reflect the discount.


Due to new rules brought in by the EU all digital sales to customers in the EU must pay VAT to customers own country. Because of this new law, I will be selling patterns from Ravelry to EU members through the Loveknitting site. Your patterns will still be added to the Ravelry library and everything else should be fairly easy – you can still pay using paypal, or you can choose to use a credit card on the Loveknitting site. This won’t apply to those outside of the EU or to those in the UK as I don’t yet come close to the UK VAT threshold. My patterns are currently awaiting approval on the Loveknitting site and will hopefully be available in the next couple of days. For a much better explaination of what’s happening, check here!

October 1, 2013

BeiraThis is my first fingerless glove pattern, just in time for winter. My inspiration for this one is a Scottish Goddess, The Cailleach, also known as Beira. She had a lot of roles, but the chief of them was as the Goddess of Winter, which she ruled over from her throne at the top of Ben Nevis. So, how better to stave off the winter cold than by keeping your hands warm? The cables are a traditional Bavarian pattern, but they also remind me of the celtic cables found throughout Scotland dating back centuries.

The cables have been designed to Thumb Detailmerge seamlessly into the ribbing on the cuffs at each end of the glove, and the cable pattern on the back of the hand is matched by the cable below and above the thumb. The thumb cable splits to make way for the thumb gusset with half the cable pattern up each side of the thumb. It merges back together again at the top of the thumb. This is my favourite feature of these gloves, I really love how it’s turned out!

Because the gloves are Beira Detailso stretchy, thanks to the twisted rib, these gloves will fit most women – my hands are a tiny bit under 6.75″ and my mum’s hands are 7.5″ around the knuckles and these gloves fit both of us comfortably! If you do want to adjust them for bigger or smaller hands, that’s really easy too – just add or subtract a few pairs of stitches to the palm and back of the hand.

One more special thing I love aboutBeira these mitts is the cast on. The Alternating Cast On is so amazingly stretchy I recommend it for all gloves, hats, sock, cuffs, and anything else that needs a stretchy cast on. If you want to try it out, you can find the photo-tutorial here!  The pattern is already up on RavelryCraftsy and here on my website, and it’s waiting for approval on Patternfish so it should be up within a couple of days. For the first few days (until 11.59 pm UK time on the 4th) you can get 50% off if you buy it from Ravelry or my website, so don’t wait too long!

July 26, 2013

For a change I’m knitting things I can show you, because I’m not knitting my own designs. I’m doing research just now. My next design (aiming for it to be ready in October/November) will be fingerless mitts/gloves, so I’m practicing by knitting other peoples patterns and getting a feel for what I like – that’s why there’s just one glove for each pattern, I might or might not knit the second one later!

I started off biased towards fingering weight gloves, New Eraand I’m still biased towards them I think. I have small hands and thicker yarn weights make my hands too bulky and make me feel clumsy. However, I started by knitting another New Era. If you’ve stuck with my blog over the last year and a bit you’ll know that I knit one of these before, then knit a second with the wrong needle and ended up with a glove I couldn’t squeeze my hand in to. I’m not sure where that pair has ended up, so I made a new one. I really love the stretch you get with the twisted rib, I’m hoping if my design is stretchy enough it can fit most women without me needing to grade it!

Chillworth Fingerless MittsSecond up was the Chilworth Mittens pattern. I really love the off centre cable on this one. Cables are just about my favourite design features for mitts and gloves – as I’m making these for winter, lace just won’t do! I also think I prefer the stockinette palm over the twisted rib one, but I may be influenced by the yarn weight too – more experimentation is needed! The purl stitches on either side of the cable also give this glove a lot more stretch than I was expecting.

Third is the Quilted Lattice Mitts. I really love the stitch pattern on these, Quilted Lattice Mittsbut I had my doubts from the start about the number of stitches I was being told to cast on with my fingering weight yarn and 2.25mm needles! As I expected the glove is pretty tight! However I didn’t check my gauge and I think the main difference is in the yarns – mine seems much thinner. While I could have started again and added in a couple of repeats to make the glove bigger, I decided just to continue as I was since my aim isn’t wearable gloves it’s to try out different patterns. I’m hoping that blocking might loosen them up enough too. One thing that makes this pattern interesting is the way the thumb gusset is handled – instead of always increasing at the outside of the gusset, this pattern always increases along the central stitch of the gusset. I haven’t got far enough yet to decide whether I prefer this or the other method but I feel this might make for a neater edge around the gusset.

There’s two more on my list to make. His and Her’s Gloves is the most important of these, since last winter I His Yarnmight have promised to make a pair for my husband! I’ve dug the yarn back out of my stash so I’m ready to start these soon. I’m going to be making them as fingerless gloves for him, with the fingered bits only going as far as the first knuckle.The other is Translated. I really love the twisted stitch cables on these – so much infact that I was inspired to buy three books of German twisted stitch patterns, that I’m really hoping will arrive in the post very soon. The other interesting thing about these is the textured palm and thumb. I’ll be using them to help me decide if I prefer a textured, ribbed or plain palm on my own gloves.

So I’m busy trying different things, working out what Translated YarnI like and don’t like, mixing it all up, and you’ll see what I come up with in a few months time! One thing I can tell you though, is that I’ll definately be including instructions for making them either fingerless mitts, or gloves as I think some people prefer each style. I also need to work on my technique for picking up stitches neatly for the top of the tumb gussets, and if I can persuade my husband to help me with the photos, I’ll have a photo tutorial soon for the best stretchy cast on I’ve found. I’ve been using it on all these gloves and I love it!

February 1, 2013

Friday is here! Only seven more hours till the weekend starts, and I have loads of plans for the weekend. Firstly though, I have a little moan because our internet isn’t working properly. The problem is really with the phone line – sometimes the dial tone will be all crackly so our internet is really slow, and other times it’s just gone and we have no internet at all! Fingers crossed we don’t lose internet completely over the weekend. The BT guy is coming on Monday to fix it, which is a relief because we’ve already been dealing with our dodgy internet for a week.

My plans for the weekend are much happier Regia Snowflake 4plythough! If the weather’s good we’ll take my new tripod out and get the last few photos of the shawl I finished last week done. I am going to be going over the shawl pattern and hopefully get it sent off to a tech editor. The shawl that I was blocking on Wednesday is have a rest just now, to see if the curling is going to get worse, but I’m hoping to get that back on the needles. Right now the top edge just wants to flop over and I think I can deal with that, so I’m just letting it relax to make sure it’s not going to decide to curl up completely. This one is going to be a gift for a friend, so I really want it to be perfect.

I’m also swatching another shawl. I came up with the Regia Snowflake 4ply Closeupdesign for this one a few months ago, and I’m really happy to get the chance to swatch it at last. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the perfect yarn for it over the weekend – right now, I’m thinking of looking for a nice red yarn for it. My new needles have finally arrived, and they are going to be really busy this weekend. I’ve ordered some 42″ chiagoo fixed circulars in 2.25 mm and 2.5 mm – perfect for magic loop! First I’m going to be casting on the cuffs for my fingerless gloves and then I’ll be starting some socks. This first pair are going to be for me – so mistakes won’t matter too much! I also really want to knit for my mum, but she isn’t really a scarf or shawl person, so I think socks might be the perfect answer for her. All the photos are of course of the yarn that will shortly be socks! I’m not linking up with Tami today, because I really haven’t finished anything.

October 17, 2012

The weather has been absolutely freezing up here recently. I think we’re in for a cold winter this year, which means plenty of opportunities for wearing cosy knits!

The cosy lacey tunic I’m working on hasn’t made much progress this week, no more that a row or two here and there. Most of my energy is being funneled into my shawl which I’m really hoping to finish soon. I have come to a dilema though. I’m not sure whether I whould rip back a bit and make it a slightly smaller one skein shawl, or continue going and let it be a big cosy shawl. The third option is to do both and offer two sizes, which I think is what I am leaning most towards right now. Let me know what you think!

My brother’s birthday present for me and my husband was John Lewis vouchers, so we went shopping yesterday and got this huge pile of yarn! The dark grey is for my husband. He’s getting a Basel hat, provided I can alter it a little to fit his 24″ head and he’s getting a pair of gloves, although I’m making them fingerless and possibly with a shorter cuff. The blue and light grey are for me. I’m making myself fingerless gloves and a hat too, but I’m working out my own colourwork pattern for them. I can’t find any hat patterns where I like both the pattern and the shape of the hat, so I’m taking matters into my own hands!

I’m reading again this week. I felt like I’d fallen out of the habit of reading, so to get myself back into it, I treated myself to a new book on the Kindle. I’m reading The Belgariad by David Eddings, and I’ve only just started the first book. I love this series and I’ve probably read it about five or six times in the last decade. It’s good to catch up with old friends from time to time.

This is my Year of Projects update again, as well as WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along with Tami and Ginny!

February 6, 2012

Well, this weekend has not been the most successful one for me, knitting wise. I started the weekend looking forward to making my second glove. In fact I was looking forward to starting so much, that I forgot I’d swapped to my 4.5mm tips for the thumb of the last pair, and didn’t swap back to my 5mm tips. I did discover the mistake eventually. But only after I’d finished all of the glove and started on the thumb. So I put them down in disgust on Saturday night and haven’t looked at them since! I’d be tempted to wear the glove and hope it stretched out over time, but the thumb hole is just too small and tight – even just trying the glove on for a couple of minutes I had a red mark around my thumb, so I don’t think that will work. Really I should frog it and start again, but right now I’m just going to ignore them for a while, lol. The next time I make gloves, I think I’ll make both at the same time – that way if I make a mistake like that, at least it will be a matching pair of mistakes!
I did make some good progress this weekend though, with my Hairpin lace blanket. I finished the first strip on Wednesday I think. I worked out that I needed 414 loops for each strip which isn’t too bad. I joined the One a Day group on Ravelry with this as my project, and I’m aiming to do 50-100 loops a day. I managed 75 on Thursday and Friday, 50 on Saturday, and then I decided I just wanted to get it finished and I did 214 on Sunday! I got the two strips crocheted together, and I think I need 30 more strips to make it a good size to cover the bed. I’m going to have one strip of black on each side, so if I need to make it wider later I’ll just add black strips. I have 19 different colours so it’s less than two strips of each colour which should be manageable. Once I’ve made the strips, I’m going to add them straight away, to save the loops getting tangled or anything like that. I’m also doing up the unjoined side for the same reason. Because I’m joining them as I go, I need to make sure I do the colours in an order I’m happy with, so I’m not starting a new strip straight away. My plan is to take proper photos of all the balls of yarn then plan out my colour scheme on the computer. So far, I love how the strips look, and they’re really easy and pretty quick to join together.
And that’s pretty much it for this week. I’m looking forward to getting on with Magrathea again, so it’ll be pulled out of the bottom of my bag tonight. I’m going to try not to cast on anything new until Magrathea is done and try and get through my WIP that way. It could be a struggle!
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 3, 2012

Well, it’s Friday at last and I’m having a short day today. My office has a flexi-time system. We can start anytime before 10, have lunch between 11 and 2, and leave after four. You can either work extra hours and save up for 6 extra days off a year, or you can just use them as you go. I had six hours saved up, so I decided to make use of them. Instead of starting at 8am, I’m starting at 10 and having a 6 hour day! The perfect thing for a Friday I think.
Today I have the first of a new pair of fingerless gloves! I did most of the knitting over last weekend, and finally got round to sewing in the ends and sewing on the button last night. I really like this pattern! It’s really easy and pretty quick to make. The only problem I had, was as I suspected, with the thumb. The pattern had you place 11 stitches on a holder, and cast on an extra stitch when you made the thumb hole. Then you went back used those 11 stitches and picked up one stitch to give you 12 for the thumb. I tried it, but it just left me with a couple of big holes at the top of the thumb. So I picked up five stitches, to keep the pattern the same and after a couple of rows I went down to a 4.5mm needle. I’m really happy with how the thumb turned out in the end! It’s a great snug fit. The other problem I had was with the button hole. It came out too far to the left and too low down for me to be happy with how it held the flap closed, so I think I’ll skip it for the next glove. Instead I closed up the hole when I was sewing in the ends, and I sewed on the button where I thought it would sit best.
I seem to have lost my tension a couple of times when I was knitting this glove. I think it’s partly because I was knitting a lot tighter than normal – the pattern reccommended using a needle slightly smaller than the one recommened, but when I used a 4.5mm needle I had no chance of getting my hand through the loop! So I decided the next best thing was to use a 5mm needle and knit tightly. I didn’t want to add stitches to make it wider because I didn’t know how far my yarn would go, and I only just had enough for these gloves. I really love the seed stitch band at the top, and the  button. Instead of going up a needle, which made it a little too loose, I just relaxed my tension back to normal. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I’ll have a second glove finished, check back next week to see the pair!
For awesome FO’s check out Tami’s and see what everyone else has been up too!

January 30, 2012

For a second time, I’ve lost my whole post when I pressed submit. I’m going to have to go back to writing these in notepad and copying them over. I can’t believe how fast January has gone. I’m still not used to it being 2012 and we’re almost in February! I think I’ve made pretty good progress this week, although I have had a falling out with Magrathea. I kept missing one yarn over, and not realising it until the next lace row. After ripping two rows out three times, and having to pick my stitches back up thne sort out the twisted ones, I was fed up! This weekend I also needed my 5mm needles for something new I’ve cast on, so Magrathea is having a week off, and hopefully we’ll work things out!
I managed to got my Long Nights Cowl finished last week, and I’ve been wearing it every day since. It’s fantastic and so warm. I waited half an hour for a bus this morning and by the time it turned up, my neck was the only part of me still warm! I used up two skiens of the Drops Nepal yarn I had. I couldn’t get gauge  – I had 4 stitches in an inch instead of 3, so I just made my cowl an extra ten stitches wide, so it finished up the same size. I didn’t want to go up a needle size as I wanted to keep the fabric tight and warm. I also didn’t make mine as long as the pattern – I stopped at 21 inches, with just the right amount of yarn to do the two bind off rows and whip stitch the rest of the live stitches around and not enough for a single row more. I really liked this pattern, it was so simple and fast to make, but it is a great cowl. It would make perfect gift knitting I think.
I still had one skien of Drops Nepal after finishing my cowl, so I cast on a pair of New Era fingerless gloves. I’ve been using the magic loop technique to knit them, and it’s so easy! So far this pattern is going really well. I seem to be knitting tighter doing it in the round, so when I started with a 4.5 mm needle I couldn’t get my hand through the loop, even thoughmy hand is smaller than the pattern. I borrowed the 5mm needles from Magrathea and everything is fine now. The first glove is a little tight, but I’m sure it will stretch out with a little wear. I’m as far as the band at the top now, and everything has been going smoothly. It’s my first pair of knit gloves so I’m a little worried about picking up the stitches for the thumb. I’m a little worried it’ll be too tight, or too loose and holey. I’m just going to hope for the best though, and not over think it.
My Hairpin Lace blanket has been going quite well. I now have 300 loops on the loom, and I’ve worked out each strip needs to have between 400 and 500 loops to be long enough for our bed. I figure it’s best for the first couple to be too long – then If I want to I can rip back some of the loops easily. If the strips are too short they’ll be harder to fix. So far it looks like I’ll be able to get at least two strips from each skien of yarn and since I have 19 coloured skiens, plus three black ones, I’m sure I’ll hae more than enough yarn for my blanket. Once I’ve got the second strip done, I’ll start joining them together and hopefully be able to work out how many strips I’ll need. I’ll also be able to plan how I want the colours to go. I don’t think I want to do rainbow stripes, I’d rather mix up the colours a bit. Since I want to be able to join the strips as I go, some planning is definitely needed. I’ve joined the One-a-Day group on Ravelry so I’ll be posting about it again tomorrow. I’m aiming at between 50 and 100 loops per day, which should be enough to keep it going nicely, while still giving me plenty of time to work on other things.
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things